A few months ago I went to buy an energy drink from Tesco as I normally do. I picked up my energy drink of choice and proceeded to the clerk to pay the £2. But this time, the man behind it asked me a strange question.
“Do you really need that?”
How rude, I thought! Of course I need it. I’m about to work for the next 10 hours straight and need some way to remain alert.
Instead of saying this and to save face, I instead replied “probably not. I bet I would save a lot of money if I stopped buying them” and walked off.
I then started thinking why I responded like this. Is it because deep down I know I shouldn’t be buying energy drinks, frivolously spending the same amount of money that could feed a starving child per day on myself.
How much do we really need to spend to live an enjoyable life? And how much can we continue to justify our spending habits to ourselves and others? This is something I started to ponder, and I’m glad I did.
Since then, I’ve transformed the way I spend my money and my entire outlook on money in general.
Being frugal has made me richer. Here’s why.
1. It’s allowed me to save money.
One of the obvious consequences of being frugal has meant that I’m saving a lot more money than I previously would of. Take my daily energy drinks, for example. I’d usually buy two a day at £2 a pop. This is £4 a day, £1460 a year.
That is not an insignificant amount of money. For me, that is an extra 2 weeks of unpaid holiday leave I can happily take off work, without worrying about how the bills will be paid.
And this is from energy drinks alone. I’ve saved money in other areas of my life as well.
2. It’s made me reconsider everything I buy.
This may sound stressful to some people, but for me, it’s great. I finally understand why I purchase certain things. Because I understand this, I no longer feel like I need to purchase them.
It also means when I do buy something, it inevitably has more more valuable to me. I only buy things I really want/need after a long consideration period.
This has brought far more meaning into my life.
3. It’s made me more appreciative.
I feel more appreciative when I receive gifts from friends or when I buy something for myself.
I also feel more appreciative when I received things for free, like a free sample at the grocery store.
Everything has more meaning to me.
4. It’s allowed me to give back.
I not only have more money but also more time. This combination has meant I am in a better position than ever to donate to people who are less fortunate than me.
I’ve signed up to a program where I can support someone in a third world country to reach their own goals by donating a certain amount of money each other. And when they reach them, I actually get the money back.
Helping myself has helped other people. And I love it.